I had worked with with this Japanese travel company over many months to plan a four-week vacation with my family throughout Japan. I found the team at this company to be both exceptionally frank about the challenges of such a trip and quite flexible and supportive in making things work. They spoke a lot from personal experience of their travels in Japan and felt sincere and enthusiastic about helping us have the best experience we could while in Japan.
There were only minor hiccups with transportation and accommodations along the way -- most everything went very smoothly, which is a huge success given the duration and complexity of our trip. The tour book they sent us was stocked with great info and was very well organized. While in Japan, the team was responsive to both emails and phone when we needed them (which wasn't very often).
Overall, we had a blast. The team allowed us to do our own thing while providing us the support and structure we needed to wring all that we could from our time in Japan.
There were many, but some favorites were: 1) crossing the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route; 2) exploring Matsumoto; 3) staying at the Hakone Ginyu onsen ryokan; 4) visiting Nara during Obon; and 5) going to Kiddy Land in Tokyo.
We spent nights in 13 different locations during the tour, including a string of 1-2 nights stays. While it was great to see such a wide variety of Japan, my family grew tired of packing up and moving to another place so much. If I had to do it all over again, I would have chosen four key locations and spent one week in each, doing more day trips than moves. I think if we had chosen places like Sapporo, Matsumoto, Kyoto, and Tokyo, we could still have seen many of the same things (though not all) but had been less worn out by changing hotels. Further, it would have given us a bit more insurance if we got a run of bad weather. In our case, we got hit by the outer bands of Typhoon Halong for several days which meant that we missed out on a couple planned experiences without any real way to adapt or make up missed places (such as Shirakawa-go, Kamikochi, and parts of Kyoto).
Also, I would have considered renting a car during the Matsumoto leg in addition to the Sapporo leg. Driving through the lower Alps region would have afforded us some flexibility without necessarily incurring the dangers/challenges that we'd find in Kyoto and Tokyo.
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